Concrete Delamination: Causes, Warning Signs, and Solutions

Concrete delamination can compromise the operations of your entire warehouse, losing you time and money, and making your warehouse unsafe for employees. But what can you do to prevent concrete delamination? If you want to avoid damaging your warehouse flooring, read on as we break down what concrete delamination is, what the warning signs are, and how to stop it from taking over. 

What Is Concrete Delamination?

When concrete is delaminated, the top layer has separated from the layers underneath. This gap between the layers of concrete may sound harmless, but it can lead to several issues which are much harder to fix. You can spot delamination by hitting your warehouse floor with a metal object. If you hear a clack or a hollow sound, you may have delamination. Delamination in an isolated area will be much easier to deal with than after it has spread, so acting fast is key. 

What Causes Concrete Delamination?

Some issues lead to concrete delamination more often than others. These are:

  • Incorrect Curing
  • Surface Cracking
  • Shoddy Craftsmanship
  • Incorrect Expansion Joints

Even without leading to delamination, these issues can set back your warehouse operations. In particular, improper expansion joints are a very common cause of delamination that can be easily avoided during installation. Expansion joints usually allow your warehouse floor to move naturally as the temperature changes, without cracking. But, if the expansion joints are not installed with due care then the concrete can crack and splinter, and delamination is likely to occur. 

What Are The Warning Signs of Delamination?

As soon as you notice the signs of concrete delamination on your warehouse floor, no matter how small, you should call a professional. Here are some things to look out for that can be warning signs of delamination. 

1. Cracks

Cracks can appear on your warehouse floor for a variety of reasons, but they are very common as delamination progresses. If you notice many cracks in an isolated area of concrete, it may well be caused by delamination.

2. Chippings

An easy way to spot delamination is with chippings. If you notice small, loose bits of concrete coming from a certain area of flooring over an extended period, there is likely a delamination issue. But, sometimes loose chippings can be caused by a water leak or repeated stress from machinery. 

3. Less Defence Against The Elements

If the seasons are changing and your warehouse floor is struggling, the concrete may be suffering from delamination. You will notice an increase in cracks or loose chippings after particularly adverse weather conditions or temperature changes. 

4. Subsidence or Drooping 

Large dips in your concrete floor are a telltale sign of potential delamination. Concrete that has been installed correctly should be smooth and level, so subsidence or dropping flooring means the layers of concrete are beginning to separate. 

How To Avoid Concrete Delamination

Prevention is always easier than cure, especially when it comes to concrete delamination. Here are our top tips for avoiding delamination of your warehouse floor. 

  • Be Patient – 

Always allow ample time for the concrete flooring to settle before walking or operating machinery on it.

  • Use Expansion Joints – 

Always use high-quality expansion joints and make sure they are installed correctly.

  • The Right Concrete – 

The type of concrete you use will depend on what your floor will be used for. Be sure to select the concrete flooring with the most suitable performance.

  • Call In The Pros – 

When it comes to installing your concrete flooring, make sure to call in the professionals. Although it can be tempting to try it yourself, you’ll save a lot of money in the long run by paying upfront. Experts are also aware of the most common causes of delamination, so they’ll be able to add precautions to stop delamination of your floor. 

Closing Thoughts 

Often, concrete delamination takes a while, but if you don’t spot it, it can get very bad, very quickly. If you spot the warning signs of delamination, make sure to call in the experts to assess it and recommend the right next moves for you.